The Best We Can

This weekend my husband, Jonathan, and I, traveled to the Northeast, Boston and then New Hampshire to do a little work, relax and reconnect a bit with some BRC alumni, and speak at a Big Book Workshop for our friends at Granite Recovery Center.  What an exciting trip! The air was cold and crisp, the city was decorated for Christmas and the hustle and bustle of visitors and shoppers made the energy electric. And the Italian food in the North End! Unforgettable…

As we were preparing to leave for the trip last week, we suddenly remembered that the traffic in Boston, combined with the narrow (and often one-way) streets can be overwhelming and nerve wracking. Since we were landing at midnight, we were concerned about how to get from the airport to the hotel safely. Luckily, we remembered that in a prior trip to the area we happened upon a nice driver and had saved his contact information. Jonathan contacted him and he, still in business, was happy to get us around.  Endo was his name! And, when we landed, he hopped out of his car and greeted us with a huge warm Nigerian smile – helped us with our bags and we were on our way.

For five days he took us around from appointment to appointment, everywhere we needed to go. Always smiling, always happy. Each time we got in the car we tried to pay him. “No, no. It’s ok,” he said, “I know you guys. We will work it out in the end.”

I have been sober and in recovery a little over a decade now. I am a wife, mother, daughter, employer, and a productive member of society. It feels really good, a confirmation in a way, to know that this man, having only had one other interaction with us ever, would trust enough to suggest being paid at the end of our time utilizing his services. This was certainly not always the case.

In the 12 Step process, Step 9, where we make amends for harms we have caused, is followed by some incredible Promises. They read, in part: “… Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”

I am beyond grateful to say that I have had the opportunity to experience these, and many more, Promises in my recovery. In fact, I experienced some over the past few days on my trip, in one way or another. Beginning with the intuitive thought to call Endo!

As I type, I am sitting on an early morning flight back to Austin. When we told Endo our flight was such that we needed a ride to the airport at 5:30 am his response was “No problem! I will be there for you!” And sure enough he was. As we pulled up to the airport for the last ride of this trip Jonathan asked him how much we owed. He pulled out a little notebook where he had written down details of our comings and goings, and the total of our charges from Wednesday through Sunday. He pointed to the amount and asked “Is this ok?”

“Yes, of course – it is fine,” we said.

Endo turned around in the seat, looked over, and humbly replied, “I did the best I can.”

Yes you did, my friend. And it was more than enough.

No matter where we are in life, in recovery, in times of joy or even despair, doing our best is all we ever can do, really. When I look back, I can see many, many times when God was doing for me, and protecting me, when I couldn’t do so for myself. These days I certainly have more awareness, and more gratitude for the gifts and protection. And I certainly can see when my HP shows up with skin on.

So thank you Endo for the guidance and protection (literally) these past few days. And more importantly, thank you for reminding me of the gifts of recovery and of the season, and all days. In the end, we are all running a tab. And in the end, it is grace that sustains us – as we go along, just doing our best.

Hopefully, the best we can.

Peace and Love,
Marsha Stone